1953 Leslie S3LR

1953 Leslie Supertyfon flat top S-3L-R

1953 era etched S-3L-R tag.

This ultra rare flat top 1953 Leslie Supertyfon S3LR is off of NREX SD40M-2 #2759. I originally sourced the horn from the CHS- Southwest Grain Boyle Terminal in Taylor, North Dakota.

After receiving information about this horn several years ago, I finally had a chance to obtain it this past September. A week before I began the adventure that was the horn trip to end all horn trips, I called the Boyle Terminal facility in Taylor, North Dakota about NREX 2759 and it's special horn. I got in contact with the manager of the elevator, Mr. Delane Thom. We spoke for a while and settled upon a deal- in order to preserve the historical significance of this early S3L, I would trade a functioning horn for it. I selected a 1973 RS3L in my collection and packed my bags for North Dakota.

After arriving in Taylor on Monday, September 13, 2021, I met Mr. Thom in his office. He introduced me to Chris Scherr. Chris has worked at CHS for over 13 years, with the most recent years as the locomotive engineer at the Boyle Terminal. I gathered my tools for removing the horn, and Chris and I drove out to the locomotive. We climbed up top, removed the 1953, and replaced it with my 1973 RS3L. He then started up the locomotive and let me test the new horn.

After meeting up with Delane in his office to talk about horns for a bit, I thanked them both and headed out for the rest of my vacation.

The flat top manifold was originally produced for the very first Supertyfon three chime whistle: the S3E. 1951 advertisement papers (shown below) show a three chime manifold similar to the flat top, but without upper reinforcement between the bell mounts. None of these manifolds have ever been found. From what I can tell, the unused stock of flat top manifolds were used for the very first S3L horns in early to mid 1953.

There are only three flat top Leslie S3L's in collections today. This one, a Southwest Construction Materials S3LR, and a Mississippi Central S3L. The MCRR horn is all original with seal wires intact. The Southwest Construction Materials horn has been disassembled and painted. This horn has seal wires on the bells- meaning the power chambers and bells have never been removed from the manifold. The bronze power chambers still retain the original bolts with holes for seal wires, but the seal wires have gone missing. The tag is also in decent shape for being 68 years old (as of this writing.) From the pockmarked paint from hail damage, to the bent and broken 25 bell, to the flaking paint, this horn has seen it's fair share of weathering.

This is the horn I swapped for the 1953 S3LR. I originally obtained this horn from Karl Klontz, who got it while working for Union Pacific railroad. It's a 1973 S3L with railroad upgraded RS chambers. The horn has all stainless fasteners and food grade anti-seize on all bolts.

I stamped NREX 2759 in the base of the manifold as a theft deterrent, so if it is ever stolen it would be easier to track. I also stamped my initials on the foot opposite of the date stamp as a little Easter egg.

A 1951 Leslie Supertyfon S3E with the never before seen non reinforced flat manifold.

NREX SD40-2 #2759 with the 1953 S3LR. Photo by Matt Petersen in Minneapolis, MN on 4/15/2017.

NREX SD40-2 #2759. Photo by Jacob Nelson in Fridley, MN on 4/15/2017.